Sports Scene: Jack Meltzer leads Bobcats to Miami Beach Parks & Rec basketball title


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Be honored at Miami Marlins game

In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.

Coaches, team representatives, teachers, friends or family members can nominate baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements.

Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.

To nominate someone, e-mail or call 954-538-7153.

Miami Beach basketball

In front of a capacity crowd at the Scott Rakow Youth Center Gym, the second seeded Bobcats upset the top ranked Clippers 20-18 to win the championship in the 7-8 age group of the Miami Beach Parks & Recreation Basketball League.

Jack Meltzer and Franco Lamana led the Bobcats (8-3-1) with six points each. Adonys Christo finished with four points, and Jasper Jansen and Matthew Clark each scored.

Trent Mopsick topped the Clippers (7-3-2) with six points. Max Abrahamson and Zachary Nedjar had three points apiece, and Miguel Arronte, Baptise Tard and Owen Basner added a basket.

Meltzer was named MVP of the playoffs.


The Heat defeated the Lakers 26-9 in the opening game of the playoffs in the 9-11 age group. Brock Levin scored a game-high 15 points. Max Bratter finished with nine points, and Timmy Haynackie added a basket. Alex Levine paced the Lakers with four points, and Aidan Connley and Bryce Hammon had two points apiece. Thomas Poliakof made a free throw.

The Pelicans beat the Raptors 27-7. Owen Spill topped the Pelicans with nine points, and Jake Goldberg had seven points. Daniel Sordo scored four points, and Jonah Bennet hit a 3-pointer. Filippo Sbroggio and Oddy Segui each added a basket. Hudson Elegant had three points for the Raptors. Sebastian Lopez had two points, and Brandon Septien and Kyle Glasgow each sank a free throw.

The No.8 seeded Bucks beat the No.9 seeded Timberwolves 24-14. Max Gotlin led all scorers with 19 points. Jesus Molina had three points, and Antonio Todd added a basket. Sam Noli guided the Wolves with six points, and Tomasso Polidori, Jack Sherman, Antonio De Souza and Michele Di Bari scored two points each.

The Knicks eliminated the Celtics 19-12. Anthony Delrosario had a game-high nine points. Magnus Kron and Alessandro Inverardi scored four points apiece, and Ariel Arwas added a basket. Gavin Basner had six points for the Celtics. Jackson Gessner, Cole Vita and Mendy Rudd finished with two points each.

The top ranked Warriors defeated the Bucks 26-5 in the second round of the playoffs. Justin Neely led the Warriors with 12 points, Aden Karp finished with 8, Jarad Zedner, Alexander Waxman and Roni Uryash scored 2 points apiece. Antonio Todd scored 3 points for the Bucks and Max Gotlin added a basket.

The Bulls beat the Knicks 15-6 in the semifinals. Adrian Jansen led the Bulls with five points, and Arthur Joulin and Mateo Strickland scored four points each. Aidan Fuentes finished with two points. Anthony Delrosario paced the Knicks with four points, and Magnus Kron had two points.

The Pelicans edged the Thunder 20-16 to reach the semifinals. The duo of Jake Goldberg and Owen Spill scored nine points each. Daniel Sordo added a basket. Jacob Martin scored a game-high 12 points for the Thunder. Cedric Jenkins and Rueben Halimi finished with two points apiece.

The No.6 seeded Heat upset the No.3 seeded Clippers 38-9. Brock Levin scored 17 points, and Dylan Allen finished with 15 points. Max Bratter, Jermian Hereira and Ricardo Quiros scored two points each. Rolando Medina had six points, and Sebastian Perez-Bravo added three points for the Clippers (8-4).

Miami Country Day basketball

Miami Country Day School’s Ochiel Swaby and Danielle Minott were recognized by the Florida Dairy Farmer’s Association for leading the Spartans to the school’s first team state championship.

Swaby was named the Florida Dairy Farmer’s Class 3A Coach of the Year, and Minott, a Syracuse signee, was chosen the Florida Dairy Farmer’s Class 3A Player of the Year. The Spartans (26-3) defeated Seffner Christian in the state finals in February.

Palmer Trinity basketball

The Florida Association of Basketball Coaches chose Palmer Trinity School girls’ varsity basketball player Claire Hebb for All-State Third Team honors in Class 3A.

Hebb, a junior, set the school’s single season scoring record with 523 points and the free throw percentage mark at 83-percent. She helped the Falcons go 25-3, reaching regionals.

Westwood Christian basketball

Westwood Christian School senior Bobby Thrush was voted the school’s Most Improved athlete by the administration during the school’s annual athletics banquet.

Thrush, a member of the boys’ varsity basketball team, displayed leadership and an improved attitude throughout the school year.

Westminster Christian softball

The Westminster Christian School softball team won the FHSAA Class 3A State Championship, beating Moore Haven High School 12-0 in the finals at Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

The Warriors went 28-3, ending the season on a 25-game win streak. It is the third state title in the history of the school’s softball program.

It is also Westminster’s second state championship this school year. The volleyball program earned its first state championship in November.

Julie Doan Kurenuma coached the school’s history making state championship winning volleyball team, and her dad, Scott Doan, coached the state championship softball team, making them the only dad/daughter duo to win a state championship in their respective sport in the same year, according to school officials.

Freshman Nikkia Benitez and senior Sylvia Hernandez played for both state championship teams.

Archibshop Curley track & field

Three student athletes from Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep qualified for the FHSAA Class 1A State Track & Field Championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

At state, Germaine Small, a senior, finished second in the long jump, ninth in the 400-meter run, 13th in the 200-meter run, and 16th in the triple jump. Carmen Pierre, a junior, placed 13th in the 100-meter dash. Cassie Poulard, a freshman, was 16th in the long jump and 13th in the 300 hurdles.

Palmer Trinity track & field

In the discus, Palmer Trinity School freshman Sofia Iglesias qualified for the FHSAA Class 1A State Track & Field Championships at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Despite throwing in a downpour, Iglesias managed to record her second best throw (99 feet 9 inches) to finish 10th at state. She ended the season as the top freshman discus thrower in the state in Class 1A, fourth best freshman in the shot put in Class 1A and set several school records.

Palmer Trinity School — a coeducational, Episcopal day school — provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that integrates knowledge, compassion and social responsibility, an essential goal of the school’s mission. Palmer Trinity School serves students from a broad range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in grades 6-12. For more information about the school, visit

Miami Country Day water polo

The Miami Country Day School girls’ varsity water polo team was small in numbers but big on determination.

Senior Nicole Halpryn was a steady leader who helped bring along the younger players. Eighth grade goalie Gabriella Palmisano was stellar, and junior Sidney Thomas provided stability on offense and defense. With 11 players returning and the addition of the middle school players moving up to varsity, this team is poised to improve next season.


Mandi Nilsen, 28, of North Miami won the women’s 25-29 age group during the Mack Cycle Tri-Miami Sprint Triathlon at Virginia Key in Key Biscayne.

Nilsen completed the 0.25-mile swim, 10-mile bike, 3.1-mile run in 1 hour 3 minutes 54 seconds. Vladimir Casanova, 38, of Miami won the men’s overall title in 51:00, and Miami Beach’s Barry Holman, 47, was first in men’s masters in 55:11.

Other Miami winners: Athena 165 0-39: 1. Rosana Greco, Miami, 1:23:15. Athena 165 40+: 1. Belkis Bengochea, Miami, 1:39:29. Clydesdale 220 0-39: 1. Ronald Tejeda, Miami Beach, 1:22:40. Clydesdale 220 40+: 1. Michael Robinson, Miami, 1:10:50. FEMALE: 20-24: 1. Rachel Losada, Miami, 1:05:43. 30-34: 1. Carla Botha, Miami, 1:07:04. 45-49: 1. Maria Fontanes, Miami, 1:16:57. 50-54: 1. Mayra Plaza, Coconut Grove, 1:07:14. Fat Tire: 1. Kinsey Herrin, Miami, 1:34:28. MALE: 15-19: 1. Juan Aguirre, Miami, 1:11:23. 20-24: 1. Edgar Alza, Sunny Isles Beach, 1:10:13. 35-39: 1. Samuel Junior, Miami, 54:42. 45-49: 1. Agusti Comabella, Miami Beach, 57:44. 50-54: 1. William Bethlem, Key Biscayne, 1:00:20. 55-59: 1. Alexis Dominquez, Miami, 1:05:18. 60-64: 1. John Masarik, Homestead, 1:03:12. 70-74: 1. Tim Regier, Miami, 1:08:30.



Miami’s Mario Tabares, 48, helped the U.S. men’s 45-and-older tennis team win the International Tennis Federation’s Senior World Team Championships’ Dubler Cup at The Polo Club in Boca Raton

Played on green clay, it is the seniors equivalent of the Davis Cup.

Based on USTA senior tournament results in 2013, Tabares was one of four Americans selected to represent the United States in the prestigious event. The U.S. four-man team competed against teams from throughout the world.

More tennis

Nine U.S. players -- including No. 52-ranked Johnnise Renaud, 17, of North Miami -- were accepted into the boys' and girls' qualifying draw for the French Open Junior Tennis Championship in Paris.

Florida Christian baseball

Florida Christian School baseball players Michael Fernandez and Javi Naranjo will play on the college level next season.

Fernandez signed with NCAA Division I University of Massachusetts Lowell and Naranjo with NAIA St. Thomas University in Miami.

Miami Country Day lacrosse

The Miami Country Day Middle School boys’ lacrosse team went 12-5. Ryan Finvarb, Blaise Pronesti and Sean Fuller were the leading goal scorers, and Matthew Hanson was the top defender.

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The local flag football program, under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and NFL Flag banners, opened the season at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave.

Results: U6: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 21; Seahawks 26, Dolphins 20; Dolphins 12, Buccaneers 0; Buccaneers 28, Cowboys 6. U8: Bears 25, Broncos 0; Jets 19, Ravens 6; Broncos 13, Ravens 6; Seahawks 25, Chargers 0; Bears 28, Chargers; Dolphins 22, Ravens 2; Dolphins 29, Chargers. U10: Texans 34, Giants 6; Saints 15, Titans 0; Rams 19, Seahawks 14; Dolphins 13, Titans 12; Dolphins 27, 49ers 0; 49ers 39, Giants 18; Seahawks 16, Saints 6; Rams 24, Texans 0. U12: Bears 21, Dolphins 20; Seahawks 25, Eagles 14; Packers 21, Raiders 0; Bucs 28, Cowboys 6; Packers 27, Seahawks 8; Raiders 19, Panthers 0; Bears 24, Eagles 14. U14: Broncos 34, Chargers 6; Buccaneers 21, Cowboys 20; Cowboys 14, Dolphins 12; Dolphins 28, Chargers 6; Broncos 19, Buccaneers 14. U16: Rams 35, Bears 6; Panthers 28, 49ers 0.

Games are in house through the non-profit organization run by volunteers.

Email and visit

Orange Bowl parks

Benefiting thousands of South Florida youth and families, the Orange Bowl Committee and Miami-Dade County broke ground on state-of-the-art renovations to Ives Estates Park, 20901 NE 16th Ave, Miami.

The Orange Bowl Committee, Miami-Dade County District 1 Commissioner Barbara Jordan and Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces participated in the ceremony as the new field will be called Orange Bowl Field at Ives Estates Park.

Two major renovations to the park include the installation of a new scoreboard and a synthetic turf field suitable for football, lacrosse, soccer and rugby. The renovations will directly benefit underprivileged children who participate in various athletic leagues, after school programs and summer camps at Ives Estates Park. The local community will also benefit from the project, as Ives Estates Park will be able to attract a greater range of youth athletic competitions and community activities.

This is the Orange Bowl’s third Legacy Gift to the South Florida community. In January 2011, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with the City of Miami, cut the ribbon on Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park, a much needed youth football stadium and facilities at urban Miami’s inner city Moore Park. It was the culmination of a legacy gift initiative the Orange Bowl spearheaded in recognition of its 75th anniversary in 2008-09. Moore Park is the site of the 1933 and 1934 Palm Festivals, the predecessor of the Orange Bowl Festival. In 2013, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with the City of Fort Lauderdale cut the ribbon to unveil renovations to Joseph C. Carter Park in Fort Lauderdale. Renovations at Carter Park included the installation of a new synthetic turf football field, now called Orange Bowl Field at Carter Park, an eight lane track, enhanced spectator areas and new scoreboard.

Combined, the Orange Bowl Legacy Gift projects have provided approximately $10 million worth of improvements toward the beautification of the South Florida community and recreational park activities for residents and their families.

The Committee’s mission is to serve the South Florida community that has supported the organization for the past 80 years.

Kendall Hammocks cheerleading, tackle football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors announces the registrations dates and times for the 2014 tackle football and cheerleading season.

Registration is open to boys and girls, age 5-14. Must turn 14 after Aug 1 .

A copy of birth certificate, 2x2 color face photo and a 2014 physical is needed by July 30 but is not required at time of registration. Potential players must be present during the registration process to be weighed in, and cheerleaders will be sized for uniforms.

The tackle teams are based on age and weight. Cheerleaders are based only on age.

Tackle & Cheerleading Registrations Dates:

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 31 and June 28

Tackle Registration Fee: $180

Fee includes use of equipment, helmet, shoulder pads, home and away uniform at the end of the season the player keeps the home jersey, participation award, secondary insurance, referee cost, county and league fees. Fee also includes yearly one day NFL Tullock Camp.

Tackle Military Discount: As part of giving back and honoring the real Warrior heroes, the league offers a 15 percent discount with proper military ID.

Rookie Camp: Free with paid registration fee. Camp, an introduction to tackle football, is for new players.

Cheerleading Information: For detailed information on the cheer registration fee and cheer gear packages, email Cheerleading Commissioner Alicia Zamorano at A mini camp is in June for a nominal fee.

Planned include new uniforms for cheerleaders and also a cheerleading competition at Disney’s Wide World of Sports aside from the local competitions.

Registration and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave. Practice begins 6:30 p.m. on July 7.

For added tackle information, email Kendall Hammocks Football and Optimist President Mike Pintado at or visit the web site at

The tackle and cheerleading programs consist of an all volunteer group under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks.

Suniland cheerleading, tackle football

The Suniland Optimist Club Sundevils have registration for youth tackle football and cheerleading for the 2014 Miami Xtreme League season.

Cheer registration is 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays thru July 8 and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays thru July 5 at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy. (US1) Pinecrest, 33156.

Ages 5-15. Registration fee is $160 for the season that starts in July and runs thru December. For information, contact Cheer Commissioner Roca Nova at 305-733-9872 or e-mail at

Football registration is 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays thru July 5 at Suniland Park.

Ages 5-14. The fee is $160 for the season that starts in July and runs thru December.

For information, call Football Commissioner Jose Regalado at 305-458-1966 or e-mail


Archbishop Curley sports camp

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep will offer a summer sports camp for students in grades 6 through 9 from June 16 to July 18.

The Summer Knights Athletic Camp teaches the fundamentals of sports and competition with each week focusing on a new area including: basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball, and wrestling.

ACND Athletic Director Greg Magner, a Miami-Dade County Football Coach of the Year, heads the camp. Instructors have between five and 40 years coaching experience. The camp costs $100 per week with discounts for multiple weeks booked.

Visit for information or to register online.

More events, leagues, programs

Miami Fury women’s football

The Miami Fury women’s tackle football season is underway. Home games are at North Miami Athletic Stadium on the FIU North Campus, 2555 NE 151 St.

For the past 12 years, the Miami Fury has represented South Florida, while providing an opportunity for female athletes to fulfill the dream of playing organized football at the highest level. Sports have really transformed where adults, especially women, now have the opportunity to excel into the Global market as athletes.

They practice at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Southwest Broward Jr. Athletic Association Complex, 6210 SW 33rd St., Miramar.

Opportunities are available with the Miami Fury season from April-July, and volunteering can continue year round. For volunteering, community service hours, tickets and more, contact Miami Fury Owner Gayla Harrington at 786-229-7487 or


Thunder Athletix and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit ; or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit or call 305-788-7339.


Kids love playing on teams, from junior team tennis to middle school tennis to high school. The new USTA Florida Regional Team Tennis Challenge is bringing recreational team play events to Miami-area children.

A USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenge for 10-under players, presented by Wilson Racquet Sports, will be hosted by the Tamiami Tennis Center, 11201 SW 24th St., on Saturday, June 28.

The one-day tournament will host gender-blind teams of no more than six players per team. Players must be age 10 or younger to compete in "orange ball" and "red ball" divisions.

The USTA Youth Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression low-bouncing balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.

These "BYOT" (bring your own team) events do not require previous team tennis league participation. USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration. Team registration closes on June 23. To register go to

“We have seen consistent demand across Florida for more open, recreational formats of play,” said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. “The new USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges offer fewer restrictions, allowing more teams to participate.”

USTA Florida strongly encourages coaches to register teams early.

“The partnership with USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges is a great fit for Wilson Racquet Sports and our shared vision to attract more youth participation,” said Erika Offerdahl, promotions manager for Wilson Racquet Sports.

Coaches and players can also connect with USTA Florida via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BYOTeamTennis.

The Tamiami Tennis Center Tennis Center is at 11201 SW 24th St., Miami, 33165.

For more information or to register go to


USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.

The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

“We are absolutely committed to changing lives through tennis,” said Linda Curtis, executive director of the USTA Florida Section Foundation. “This agreement is a prime example of how USTA Florida and our Foundation work together to impact communities each and every day. These athletes play tennis for the pure joy of the sport. It’s inspiring to see, and I’m proud to know that we will be able to provide even more opportunities for them to play through this partnership.”

Sherry Wheelock, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Florida, said: “At Special Olympics Florida, we embrace the transformative power of sports. USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation will help us bring first-rate trainings and competitive experiences to our athletes throughout the state. We are excited for this new partnership and are confident that it will further ignite a passion in our athletes for tennis.”

To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida. For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at


USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, announced awards of $450,000 in grants to 40 organizations that provide tennis and education to underserved youth and people with disabilities. This brings the total awarded during the 2013 grant funding cycle to more than $1.2 million. Combined with scholarships, USTA Serves awarded a total of $1.6 million in 2013.

Special Olympics Florida of Miami-Dade County is a grant recipient. It incorporates tennis in providing year-round sports training and competition to children and adults age 8 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It currently serves 2,848 athletes throughout Miami-Dade County.

The biannual grant process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was established to award organizations that successfully combine tennis and education for underserved youth as well as people with disabilities to gain an opportunity to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format. These programs also strive to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles.

“USTA Serves is proud to end the year by awarding and recognizing some of the country’s most phenomenal programs for their efforts toward impacting the lives of youth through tennis and education,” Dan Faber, USTA Serves executive director, said in a release. “These programs have a solid foundation and exhibit tremendous dedication to serving children who deserve a life filled with education and physical activities. For this, we thank them for leading the way in designing a nurturing environment where students can thrive and succeed on and off the tennis court.”

USTA Serves has awarded more than $17 million in grants and scholarships to standout players and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to achieve success.

For more information about USTA Serves, visit

Marlins Jose’s Heroes

Tickets to the José's Heroes Fan Zone are available each time Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernandez takes the mound at Marlins Park.

For $16, fans receive:

A ticket in the José's Heroes Fan Zone (Left Field Bullpen Reserved)

A José's Heroes T-shirt

A 'K' Card to wave when José records a strikeout

Go to

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind-the-scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 per person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas, including the suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) players.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams, which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101.

Visit .

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, makes its South Florida debut at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks — Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competition among teams with fewer players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

Soccer 5 Tropical Park is open 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

“I cannot thank Miami-Dade Parks and our Soccer 5 coaching staff enough for making our dream of developing small-sided soccer for kids in the Greater Miami area a reality,” Georgeson said. “It is an exciting time for us at Soccer 5 as we continue to expand our Kids Academy in South Florida built on the success of our public/private partnership with Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.”

Allison Diego, director of business development, fundraising and advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks’ Recreation and Open Spaces Department, added: “The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is delighted to partner with The Soccer 5 vision to provide an outstanding experience for this community through soccer. We are happy to be a part of this important child sports development.”

For more information or to register, visit


South Kendall Sun Blazers ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79th St. (305-630-3314).

Miami Dade Soccer League ( at Three Lakes Park, 13375 SW 136th St. (786-488-5216).

Soccer 5 ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave. (888-575-2976).

Club Atletico de Miami ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave. (305-764-5783).

Soccer Academy of the Americas ( at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St. (786-486-3804)

Pinecrest Premier Soccer ( at Deerwood Bonita Lakes, 11511 S. Dixie Hwy. (305-255-3422).

Optimist Club of Westchester ( at Tropical Park, 7900 Bird Rd., (786-370-4222).

Coral Estates Soccer Club ( at Coral Estates Park, 1411 SW 97th Ave. (305-279-2328).

South Kendall Soccer Club ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79th St. (305-630-3314).

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO ( at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47th St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152nd Ave. (305-965-0083).

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPleX, 1440 NW 82th Ave., Doral.

Thunder Basketball is currently running a day camp and summer league, open to boys and girls ages 5 to 17. Thunder Basketball’s mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. It stresses the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life. For more information visit Registration is now open. Email or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been raising funds.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School, where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16. Email or call 305 -273-1145.

Heads Up

Former tight end Troy Drayton played nine seasons in the NFL, including 1996-99 with the Miami Dolphins, and he is now the Dolphins’ youth program coordinator.

Drayton is adding a new title to his résumé — NFL Ambassador for Heads Up Football.

The NFL and USA Football jointly announced the national launch of Heads Up Football, a youth football program aimed at making football better and safer for all who play it. The program is being supported with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

Three million kids already play tackle football, and the game can be even safer. Heads Up Football includes a tackling model that removes the head from the game.

Heads Up Football has five core elements: The use of the Heads Up Tackling model; coaching certification; Player Safety Coaches; concussion education; and proper equipment-fitting.

The program was launched in three test markets last year. This year, it will expand to more than 600 youth leagues in all 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 will be assigned a former NFL player mentor. Drayton will serve as a mentor to a local Heads Up League — the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE Second Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.

Visit .


Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Call Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, women can play it in South Florida at the amateur indoor, air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers youth basketball, flag football, youth soccer, adult soccer and adult basketball. Visit or call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Read more Miami-Dade Youth Sports stories from the Miami Herald

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